Knowing what is the best food for Jack Russell Terriers can be tricky. There’s a lot to take into consideration, that’s why we’ve created this handy guide to the best Jack Russell food in the UK. Of course we can’t always stop them from eating what they want but knowing what to avoid can help solve all sorts of problems, physical and behavioural.
What to feed a Jack Russell
Jack Russell Terriers are prone to skin and food allergies. If your dog has recurrent ear infections or skin problems, it could be related to a food allergy. Switch to a limited ingredient diet or a grain-free dog food with wholesome natural ingredients with no artificial additives or fillers. This can also help with reducing anxiety and over activeness caused by additives in dog foods. We all benefit from a more natural and healthy diet so why shouldn’t your dog?
How much should you feed a Jack Russell?
Generally speaking between 13 to 17 pounds is about the right weight for an adult Jack Russell Terrier. But how much should you feed a Jack Russell? Anywhere between 450 to 650 calories per day should be enough to keep your dog healthy. Adult dogs may only need two meals per day, whereas Jack Russell puppies (up to 1-year-old) need more meals a day with higher fat and protein content.
What to look out for in Jack Russell food
Some poorer quality or cheap food for Jack Russell’s can have substandard ingredients or fillers that aren’t important to a dogs diet. These can cause issues with digestion and toilet habits, spending a little more in the short term can have much better outcomes long term. Look out for these ingredients in your Jack Russell’s diet;
Generic meat – Look for specific meat like pork, beef or duck listed high on the ingredients. Generic labelling of meat can mean it’s just factory leftovers, you don’t know what’s in it or where it came from.
E numbers – Preservatives and additives that aren’t natural aren’t any good for your dog’s health. Check the label for natural ingredients.
Cheap fillers – Manufacturers use cereals, corn and wheat to bulk out or hold together dog food. They are impossible for your dog to digest and though it may seem cheaper, it’s just money down the toilet.
Wet or dry food?
Dry food can help with dental hygiene whereas wet food contains protein that’s easier to digest. Wet food also tends to cause less allergies as it’s fresher and has fewer preservatives. Dry food is generally cheaper and easier to store, not to mention less stinky! Really it’s up to you, but remember dogs are omnivores so a balanced diet is essential. Just make sure not to give certain human foods (see below) to Jack Russell’s than can be really harmful.
What is the best brand dog food for Jack Russell Terriers in the UK?
There are some fantastic options for natural and healthy dog food in the UK.
AATU believe in the best quality meat for your pet with all products containing at least 80% natural meat or fish. Mixed with 32 veg and fruits to boost your Jack Russell’s diet “AS MOTHER NATURE INTENDED.” They offer a great tasting menu, wet or dry food and tasty treats your terrier will love.
Barking heads are a small dog obsessed company based in the UK. They are committed to clean and natural doggie-dinners, high quality meat and veggies and absolutely no fillers or nasty ingredients. Feeding your dog less filler and more of the good stuff they actually need to be happy and healthy including; probiotics, ethical protein, high quality fibre, slow release carbohydrates, omega 3 & 6 oils and a balance of vitamins and minerals. They have a great welcome pack to try out for new customers;
More Pet Foods use fresh meat and have absolutely no artificial preservatives or additives. This makes it a great choice if your JR suffers from any allergies as it’s hypoallergenic due to it’s simple ingredients list.
Scrumbles make cat and dog food that is baked in the UK with all-natural ingredients. They also do some great dental hygiene treats as an alternative to Dentastix and are 100% plastic-free.
Happy Hound Treats sell everything from non-splinter ostrich bone to rabbits ears! All natural and responsibly sourced byproducts.
Is human food safe for Jack Russell’s?
“So is human food safe for my Jack Russell?” Well it depends. Cooked meat and vegetables can be a great (and highly appreciated) addition to your JR’s diet. Raw meat can carry bacteria if not kept sterile, so if you wouldn’t eat it probably best not to feed it to your dog. There are however some foods you should never give to your Jack Russell Terrier;
What food shouldn't I feed my Jack Russell?
Theobromine and caffeine are the two ingredients in chocolate that makes it extremely dangerous for dogs. Just a little bit of chocolate can cause diarrhoea and vomiting in dogs, while too much can cause seizures, irregular heart function and even death in extreme cases.
In a small dog weighing 5kg, around 70g of milk chocolate or 20g of dark chocolate can cause problems. That’s around three squares of milk chocolate. Whereas just 4g of cocoa powder can cause serious issues as it’s more concentrated.
Onions, garlic and chives whether they are powdered, raw, cooked or dehydrated can all kill off your dog’s red blood cells and cause anaemia in the long term. So keep that bolognese sauce out of the dog bowl.
Macadamia nuts can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and severe weakness. They are extremely dangerous for dogs and should be avoided especially in baked goods where it may not be an obvious ingredient.
Xylitol will be familiar to most diabetics, it’s a sweetener used in everything from baking to some types of peanut butter to human toothpaste. It causes a dogs pancreas to release a lot of insulin causing hyperglycemia and possible liver failure.
If your dog has eaten any of these please consult your vet as soon as possible.
Why do Jack Russell’s eat grass?
A dog eating grass might mean their diet doesn’t have enough fibre. It’s basically the equivalent of us reaching for the prunes! It could also mean they feel sick and the tickle of the grass will make them throw up (usually whatever disgusting thing it is that they’ve eaten). Eating grass is natural dog behaviour and nothing to worry about, as long as the grass isn’t contaminated with weedkiller or pollution.
Why do dogs eat poo?
It’s called Coprophagia and is common for all dogs, it’s actually why they first started hanging out with humans as they cleared up our mess, gross!). If your dog is eating a lot of poop it could be down to a lack of potassium. Try feeding your dog a banana just before they usually eat something disgusting, like just before a walk. Bananas are high in potassium and safe for dogs, just don’t feed them too many as they are high in sugars, and banana skin is a definite no no.
Is stage of life dog food a waste of time?
Like us dogs start to slow down as they get older. Being less active means they need less protein in their diet in favour of things like Omega 3’s and Glucosamine to help keep joints healthy. Dog health supplements can be a great way to support your JR’s diet as they get older. But is it necessary to change your dog’s diet completely? Well not really, and certainly not overnight. The body will take in the nutrients it needs and leave out the stuff it doesn’t so providing a well-balanced diet throughout your JR’s adult life shouldn’t be age dependant. Sudden changes to diet can often have negative effects and should be monitored closely with your dog’s overall health.
What is the best food for a Jack Russell puppy?
Puppies need food that is small and easy to chew but also high in nutrients to support their early growth. Jack Russell Terrier puppy food needs to have a high moisture content while they are switching from their mother’s milk to solid food, much like babies, it takes their digestive system time to adjust to an adult diet.
You can look out for puppy food that contains a good balance of vitamins and minerals like Calcium and Phosphorus for healthy bone growth and amino acids for muscle development. Omega Fatty Acids are also important for the health of their skin, coat, eyes, and are important for early brain development.
So, what is the best dog food for Jack Russell Terriers?
Jack Russell’s can’t control their diet so it’s up to us. Whether it’s limiting their eating, stopping them from drinking out of stinky puddles or stealing human food that will cause them stomach problems or worse. Training your Jack Russell can certainly help, but you always need to keep an eye on their diet.
Knowing the best dog food for your Jack Russell means tailoring it to their individual needs and tastes. Age, energy levels and allergies can all have an effect on the best choice of dog food for your dog. It’s important to only give them the best natural ingredients and cut out added fillers and preservatives that can lead to health complications like skin disorders.
Of course it’s always best to talk to a professional, your veterinarian or an animal nutritionist about your pet’s diet and any possible changes.
How old is my Jack Russell?
Psst, want to know how old your Jack Russell is? Of course you do! Not all dogs are the same, JR’s are younger in dog years than some of their larger counterparts. Find out your JR’s real age by email here